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Old 12-06-2012, 08:02 AM   #1
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Those who homeschool loosely/relaxed....

I am wondering how you know your kids are where they should be academically?

We are really close to giving up on our ODD's public virtual school program and pulling her out to work with her ourselves. She needs more challenging work and they refuse to move her on, despite the fact that she is reading 2 grade levels ahead, and doing math one grade level ahead.

But we feel apprehensive about the possibility that she could fall behind without us realizing it.

Short of buying curriculum on grade levels, how do you monitor your kid's progress?

And doesn't it get harder to do so the older the child gets?

For now, we are considering this approach:

*Lang Arts - read a story everyday, summarize it, and write every day. Keep books on hand for her to read to us, and have her practice reading aloud everyday.

*Math - continue with daily practice, and go along in a logical manner - so, teach her until she is proficient with +,-,x, / and then move on to more complicated ideas - fractions, decimals.... At some point, we will likely need a workbook or some form of guidance on this, but for now, we are comfortable doing just this with her...

*Science will be an "as we go" thing. DH wants to "be in charge" of all the Science lessons. He is pretty excited about doing experiments with the kids and stuff.

*Art will be incorporated into the other stuff, with drawings, occasional paintings, play doh playtime, etc.


.... Is there anything else we need to be doing? Will what I've outlined work? Did I miss anything?

I think we take a pretty relaxed approach to learning, but I do want some sort of cerebral activity every day. At the same time, I don't want to be so loose and relaxed that I fail my kids and they wind up speed bumps. DD will be 6 in January, if it matters.

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Old 12-06-2012, 08:09 AM   #2
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Re: Those who homeschool loosely/relaxed....

We buy packaged curriculum and move on when we are finished with each book, and honestly, I'm not real concerned if they fit into where the public school would have them, as we plan on schooling them throughout and they'll get it at some point.

However, if I were going to go the route you're talking, I would either check the state's education website to find their standards for each grade or I would check the library for the book for that grade (What your 4th Grader Should Know, for example).
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Old 12-06-2012, 08:34 AM   #3
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Re: Those who homeschool loosely/relaxed....

I buy cirriculum spererate rather than as a whole and we do a few pages each day out of each book + real life experiences and then just keep moving on as he goes along. We'll do some things that we've done previously to make sure he's still remembering that stuff too. So far it's working. He's 5 but doing mostly 1st grade work now.

We also dont' stress out if we miss a day or even a few days. It's life, it happens.
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Old 12-06-2012, 09:05 AM   #4
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Re: Those who homeschool loosely/relaxed....

I don't see you have anything for History. Although, you could have the books she reads be her history as well, like Sonlight. But I definately think you can do it with the plans you mentioned. As for falling behind ~ as long as she is learning, she won't be falling behind.
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Old 12-06-2012, 09:22 AM   #5
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Ds is only 5 this year but we are moving away from following a full curriculum. We use grade level books, which range from prek to grade 1 (ds and dd work together a lot), and follow what they're finding interesting. So far they are above their grade level. We also have the "what your first grader needs to know".

This is our first year so weve really been just trying everything as it works for us trying to get a feel and find what we like. Looking forward to reading more replies to this question

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Old 12-06-2012, 09:25 AM   #6
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Re: Those who homeschool loosely/relaxed....

I buy packaged curriculum and keep moving forward. The key to beong relaxed for me is consistency. And reaching a half way mark, or close to, by december each year. We start in July, get to halfway (or nearly) by December and finish by June. We take breaks as needed, skip problems if we know the information and just keep moving forwrd.

I do have panic attacks and make a schedule occasionally but I usually relax again when I realize what I was doing was working
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Old 12-06-2012, 09:25 AM   #7
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I'm using (very loosely) the MFW cycle. In VA we have to test yearly in language arts and math, so I do my best to keep them at "grade level" or above on those subjects. Other than that, we're pretty free. We follow along loosely with what the curriculum is talking about or we head to the library/internet/youtube and learn about what the kids are interested in, or sometimes we just skip school altogether and bake or read or whatever. Grade levels aren't all they're cut out to be imo. As long as the kids are happy learning, I'm happy learning with them regardless of what we're learning.

As far as math, we do Life of Fred and then close to test time we go through a test review work book to make sure we're up to date on everything.

I go a little more formal for language arts. We use the CLE language arts light unit books. Thats the only real formal curriculum that we're doing atm. Its kind of boring, but since its just the one subject, its doable. I tried using their full curriculum one year and ended up unschooling half way through the year because we couldn't handle it. Lol

I've tried lots of different curricula and methods and this is what seems to work best for us. We just keep it light, but still have something to go to for "school" because total unschooling turned into total chaos in my house.
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Old 12-06-2012, 09:28 AM   #8
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So that long rambling response was to say, I think what you've got planned is totally fine. Maybe pull some good living books to get her interested in history, then you can talk more about what was going on in that time period from a historical perspective once she has a feel for it. Other than that, I think you're good to go imo.
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Old 12-06-2012, 11:30 AM   #9
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Re: Those who homeschool loosely/relaxed....

She is only 6. Does she need history?

I thought that would come later.

I am not even sure where to start for history. What kinds of things??

I was thinking, I guess, that since she is so young, we can keep moving forward with simple stuff, and when she outgrows it, we will find more material, whether that be buying formal curriculum, or getting new books, etc....



*** ETA: We just completed an entire book with an in depth study of the Bible book of Acts. It had a lot of historical info in it - how they sailed from one place to another, about the Roman Empire and various rulers/magistrates. We are now studying a book that reviews the Bible book of Jeremiah - a lot about what life was like during Jeremiah's day, who some of the Kings of Israel were before and during Jeremiah's lifetime, etc. These are studies we are doing for our congregation Bible Study, but we usually include the kids in reading and preparing the information. It's typically just about 5-8 or so paragraphs a week, so we try to go in depth on it and help the kids grasp as much as they can.

Is that type of stuff okay for history at this young age?

I just am not sure what type of history stuff we should be doing.

That might be a subject I end up purchasing a curriculum for, I suppose.

Last edited by Kiliki; 12-06-2012 at 12:10 PM.
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Old 12-06-2012, 12:32 PM   #10
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Re: Those who homeschool loosely/relaxed....

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kiliki View Post
She is only 6. Does she need history?

I thought that would come later.

I am not even sure where to start for history. What kinds of things??

I was thinking, I guess, that since she is so young, we can keep moving forward with simple stuff, and when she outgrows it, we will find more material, whether that be buying formal curriculum, or getting new books, etc....



*** ETA: We just completed an entire book with an in depth study of the Bible book of Acts. It had a lot of historical info in it - how they sailed from one place to another, about the Roman Empire and various rulers/magistrates. We are now studying a book that reviews the Bible book of Jeremiah - a lot about what life was like during Jeremiah's day, who some of the Kings of Israel were before and during Jeremiah's lifetime, etc. These are studies we are doing for our congregation Bible Study, but we usually include the kids in reading and preparing the information. It's typically just about 5-8 or so paragraphs a week, so we try to go in depth on it and help the kids grasp as much as they can.

Is that type of stuff okay for history at this young age?

I just am not sure what type of history stuff we should be doing.

That might be a subject I end up purchasing a curriculum for, I suppose.
I think what you have listed is fine. She doesn't have to have history at this point. If you want some, that's fine too. Can I ask what your congregation is using for Bible Study? Is it a kids program, adult, or mixed ages? And yes, I think that kind of history is just fine. About the only history we did for a whlie was read the Laura Ingalls books. My DS loved it. Right now the only history we are doing is a bit of Bible stuff, and DS has taken an interest to Magic Tree House books, so there's a little there, and a George Washington book that he likes (a dull one, IMO). There will be plenty of time for more formal history down the road.
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